Bulletin of the Torry Botanical Club 9(8): 97-98. August 1882
A New North American Rose
By C. C. Parry

On a recent botanical excursion in the upper part of Lower California, between the 5th and 15th of April of the present year (1882), among other interesting discoveries in that little-known district, a remarkable new species of Rosa was met with, which, on account of its peculiar botanical and horticultural features, seems deserving of an early notice.

It was first seen in riding along a well-travelled road, skirting the shores of All Saints' Bay, between Sanyal and Encenada, about the parallel of 32° N. latitude, becoming abundant, and forming dense low thickets on dry slopes shut off from the sea-breezes, and composed of crumbling ferruginous sandstone. Forming, as it did, a most conspicuous and agreeable feature in the arid landscape, with its finely divided foliage and showy pink or white flowers, it attracted the attention of all the members of the party, which included Messrs. C. G. Pringle, C. R, Orcutt, M. E. Jones and the writer, by all of whom full collections were made.

Specimens were shortly afterward sent to Dr. Engelmann, of St. Louis, who, at the request of three of the discoverers, Mr. Pringle, Mr. Orcutt and myself, has kindly furnished the following diagnosis and description, from which the readers of the BULLETIN can form a clear idea of its peculiar botanical characteristics:

ROSA MINUTIFOLIA, n. sp.—A much-branched shrub, 2-4 feet high; shoots pubescent, densely covered with straight or slightly recurved, red-brown, bristly, at first pubescent spines, their leaves with broad, divaricately auricled stipules, and mostly leaflets; fertile branches bearing numerous, terete, subulate spines, some of the shorter and more persistent ones often in pairs under the branchlets; leaves fasciculated on short spurs, narrow stipules divaricately auricled, leaflets minute (only 1-2 lines long, the lowest pairs the smallest) oval, simply incised-dentate, pubescent, not glandular; flowers single, 3/4-1 inch wide, on tomentose, bractless peduncles from between the leaves; calyx-tube globular, densely setose-hispid, a thick nectariferous ring contracting its opening; petals suborbicular, scarcely emarginate, deep rose-purple or white; central ovules borne on short stipes; styles distinct, short, woolly.

Described from specimens sent by Dr. C. C. Parry and M.. E. Jones. A most striking and lovely species, distinguished from all other roses by its minute, deeply incised leaflets. The young shoots have larger, distant leaves, with fewer, but larger leaflets, the terminal one the largest, sometimes 4 or 5 lines long; fragrance faint. This species is quite peculiar among its American congeners, and even among the roses of the Old World, so that it is difficult to determine its true position. In aspect and habit it comes nearest to the Pimpinellifoliae on account of its single bractless flowers, its numerous acicular spines, and its small leaves; but it recedes in its pinnatifid calyx-lobes.—G. Engelmann.

Garden and Forest, 1(9): 102-103 (April 25, 1888)
Rosa minutifolia*

*R. minutifolia, Engelm. in Bull. Torr. Club, ix, 97. Of dense growth, 2 to 4 feet high, pubescent, with numerous scattered terete straight or slightly curved spines; leaves small, with narrow stipules, the leaflets 5, round to lanceolate, 1 to 5 lines long, incised-dentate; flowers an inch broad or less, pink or white, solitary on short tomentose peduncles terminating very short branchlets; receptacle globose, densely setose-hispid, the calyx-segments cleft, persistent; styles distinct.

Our wild Roses have an ill reputation among the botanists for the uncertainty which often attends the determination of their species. But there are some, fortunately, about which there can be no doubt, and we have here given the figure of one which carries its distinctive characteristics obtrusively to the front, and cannot be mistaken. Not only is there no other American Rose like it, but it stands alone in the genus, forming M. Crepin's section, Minutifoliae. Its compact habit, its very small and deeply toothed leaflets, and its small, solitary flowers almost sessile upon the short branchlets, together make it a very distinct species.

As might be expected, this Rose belongs to the flora of the Pacific coast. It has been found only on the peninsula of Lower California, near All Saints (Todos Santos) Bay, about 40 miles south of San Diego, where it was discovered in 1882, forming low, dense thickets upon the dry hillsides bordering the shore. It is a much-branched, compact shrub, armed with numerous stout, straight spines, the small leaves often fascicled, and with numerous pink or white flowers along the branches. The globular base of the calyx is covered densely with short bristles. Evidently the flower in its wild state cannot be commended as well suited to the florist's needs, but from its habit of growth the plant may well prove a decided ornament to the lawn and garden in our more southern States, where it would doubtless be hardy.—S. W.